Hugo Chavez: Not Resting in Peace

I’m still playing catch-up after my week away. When I was in San Juan, Puerto Rico, a week ago Tuesday, I heard the news that Hugo Chavez, self-anointed dictator of Venezuela, had finally succumbed to the cancer he had been fighting for some time. He had availed himself of the Cuban healthcare system for treatment, putting his future in the hands of ideological soulmates, believing to the end, I suppose, that the socialist paradise would be his temporal salvation. He was wrong.

Chavez sought to do for Venezuela what Castro did for Cuba, what the family of looney leaders have concocted for North Korea, and what other assorted socialist-communist visionaries have attempted in various parts of the world. He hated the United States, particularly when George Bush was president, calling Bush at one point “the devil.” I think he was a little confused about the identity of the devil; that confusion probably has lifted now:

This motif occurred to more than one cartoonist:

Chavez was also one of the darlings of the radical Occupy Movement. This has certainly been a downer for them:

The cult of personality Chavez promoted in Venezuela was no different than that of Mao’s in China or Castro’s in Cuba. And like both of them, he did his best to bully his opposition by shutting down all media outlets that wouldn’t bow down to his socialist policies. Freedom was becoming a rare commodity in that nation.

While I can feel sorrow for a lost soul, I cannot be unhappy that his reign of terror and error has come to an abrupt end. Perhaps for the people of Venezuela who still understand the principles of liberty, there is hope now for their future.

Meanwhile, Overseas . . .

I haven’t said much about foreign affairs lately, so let’s catch up a bit. The really big news, of course, is the death of Qaddafi in Libya. Some are touting it as a major step forward for “democracy.” While I’m glad the delusional tyrant is gone, don’t count me among those who believe the future is rosy in that part of the world:

Change is not always synonymous with progress.

Speaking of change, that would be nice for Venezuela. Yet it appears Hugo Chavez is hanging on, to the detriment of the country he rules:

And then there’s Iraq. President Obama has declared our mission complete by the end of this year, and most troops will be removed. While I am always glad to keep our soldiers out of harm’s way, this is a bittersweet withdrawal:

I realize we can’t stay forever, and that Iraq must stand on its own, but will this now be a vacuum that Iran will fill? How can that be a better scenario? No easy answers in the Middle East, but it would be tragic if Iran now becomes the neighborhood bully. What’s Obama’s plan about that? Or is this primarily a campaign strategy? Forgive me if my cynicism is showing.

Ample Proof

I’ve had kind of a long week. How about some political cartoons to carry us through the weekend? Less commentary from me, more from those who illustrate some of the absurdities of everyday political life.

Libya, of course, tops the list:

We don’t want to forget developments in other countries that have gone largely unnoticed lately, such as in Venezuela:

Chavez is also the guy who recently speculated that the reason there may not be life on Mars is because capitalism killed all life forms there. Kidding or just crazy? You make the call.

When President Obama went to Brazil, he encouraged them to drill for oil. Why is that okay for Brazil and not for the U.S.? I don’t want to believe conspiracy theories, but sometimes he really seems to want to undercut his own country for ideological reasons:

Meanwhile, back home, one thing still hasn’t changed:

I continue to view the problem this way:

It’s funny and sad at the same time. This is ample proof for me that our security, purpose, and joy are found in God, not government.